Palampur: The CSK Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University Palampur and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for strengthening linkages between nuclear agriculture and biotechnology.

MoU was signed by Prof Ashok Kumar Sarial, Vice-Chancellor, CSKHPAU and Dr V.P.Venugopalan, Head, Nuclear Agriculture and Biotechnology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

Prof Ashok Kumar Sarial, Vice-Chancellor said that linkages between these two premier institutes will be strengthened through various collaborative efforts on “Breeding of new crop varieties, evaluation, release, notification and popularization”. The crops focused for this endeavour will be wheat, rice, urd, mungbean, pigeonpea, soybean and cowpea. He told that this collaboration will open new horizons for taking up innovative research activities of mutual interests in agriculture, sharing of human resource, technical expertise and radiation facilities.

It will be a unique opportunity to conduct the visit of post graduate students to acquire acquaintance with the on-going activities in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and harness the mutation breeding expertise for masters and post -doctoral research. Prof Sarial said that the idea for collaboration and signing MoU was mooted during the visit of a team of BARC scientists last year and sincere efforts will be made to establish radiation facilities at the university to cater to the needs of entire North-Western Himalayan hill States for future mutation breeding programmes and providing assistance for food crops, temperate fruits and vegetables processing and protection endeavours.

The BARC has been informed that this facility will enable it to have a platform to get its mutation inducted new crop varieties screened in North-West Himalayan regions and get the elite genotypes released and popularized amongst the stakeholders.

Recently, Dr. Sanjay J. Jambhulkar, Head, Mutation Breeding Section, BARC, held discussions with the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Y.P. Thakur, Director of Research and Dr. H.K. Chaudhary, Professor and Head, Department of Crop Improvement.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.